Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.

- Denis Waitley


Family Law and Estate Planning Blog

The law concerning child custody in Virginia

Child custody refers to the care, control and maintenance of a child. There are many similarities among child custody laws across state lines. The principal reason for this is the adoption of the Uniform Child Custody Act, which assists law enforcement in each state. Under Virginia child custody laws, parents can have joint custody and […]

The things you should not do if engaged in a child custody battle

If you are involved in a child custody battle, there are certain things you should not do because they will only serve to adversely affect your case. You should not represent yourself under any circumstances. Although custody litigation is complicated and expensive, representing yourself could have unfavorable consequences. Because you are emotionally involved in the […]

A guardian ad litem may be called upon to represent best interests of children in divorce

When children are involved in a divorce or separation, the best interests of the children should be of paramount importance in determining such issues as custody, child support and visitation agreements. And a court may appoint an attorney as a guardian ad litem, whose function is to represent the best interests of the children during […]

Factors to consider when establishing a guardianship

You may wish to set up a guardianship for your children in the event that you and your spouse are unable to care for them. It is preferable that you name a guardian in your will because if you do not, and you suffer an untimely death, one will be appointed by the court. A […]

Parenting agreements in child custody cases

Most child custody cases can be resolved prior to going to trial. Negotiations between the parents and their attorneys or mediation, which is a form of alternate dispute resolution, can result in a parenting agreement, which is a written agreement outlining the couple’s decisions concerning all issues relevant to child custody and visitation. It is […]

Parental communication helps pave the way for a reasonable visitation schedule

When couples with irreconcilable differences end their marriage through a divorce, the bonds between the spouses are effectively severed. Each party can proceed with his or her life separately. However, if a soon-to-be-splitting couple has children, some level of communication between the parents will necessarily linger, particularly once child custody has been determined and reasonable […]

Never-married parents face extra steps when establishing child custody

In Virginia, unmarried parents have the same rights and responsibilities to their children as married couples do. However, parents who were never married may face some additional steps when they establish child custody after a breakup. Paternity frequently complicates the process of determining custody in cases where the parents were never married. If either party […]

Women Have Usually Trumped Men in Child Custody, But More Men May Win custody Cases

In divorce cases, child custody and child support (its possible financial corollary) have, traditionally, been skewed heavily in the mother’s favor. But changing legal doctrines, social mores and economic factors have been changing the balance. Statistics from recent decades show that women were consistently awarded custody of children from 1993 through 2007 — 83 percent […]

Where There Is a Valid Will There Is a Proper Way to File in Probate Court

The term probate may evoke foreboding thoughts among many who hear it, but essentially the word means the act of validating and recording the will of a deceased person with the court that has jurisdiction. In the case of the commonwealth of Virginia, that court is the Circuit Court, and it is the proper filing […]

Mediation Can Help Resolve Conflict

When a couple is divorcing amidst significant disagreements concerning division of property, child custody, alimony and other issues, mediation can be a less expensive alternative to litigation. A divorce trial is an expensive undertaking, but when the divorcing parties are far from agreement, it is sometimes a necessity. However, mediation can help a case reach […]